Glossary of environmental terms used in the Textile & Clothing industry

A – B – C – D – EFGHI – J – K – LM – N – OP – Q – RS – T – U – V – W – X – Y – Z

A

  • ACIDIFICATION

Emissions of chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and hydrochloric acid directly, or through conversion to other substances, lower the pH of soil and water bodies, affecting animal and plant life. [JRC European Commission]

  • ADJUSTIVE LCA

LCA in which the product specific information comes from a baseline assessment adjusted with a limited amount of product specific data. This is a new concept, developed in this report to describe a new type of LCA approach identified within the studied methodologies.

C

  • CARBON DIOXIDE EQUIVALENT (CO2e)

Unit for comparing the radiative forcing of a GHG to carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide equivalent is calculated using the mass of a given GHG multiplied by its global warming potential. [ISO 14067]

  • CARBON FOOTPRINT

Weighted sum of greenhouse gas emissions and greenhouse gas removals of a process, a system of processes or a product system, expressed in CO2 equivalents. [ISO 14067]

  • CARBON FOOTPRINT DECLARATION

Claim indicating the quantified carbon footprint of a product.

  • CARBON FOOTPRINT PRODUCT CATEGORY RULES

Set of specific rules, requirements and guidelines for developing carbon footprint declarations for one or more product categories. [ISO 14067]

  • CLIMATE CHANGE

Carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases released into the environment allow sunlight to pass through the earth’s atmosphere, but absorb the infrared rays that reflect off land and water. This inhibits their escape and therefore heats up the atmosphere. [JRC European Commission]

  • CRADLE TO FACTORY GATE

Begins with extracting raw materials from the earth and ends with the product leaving the factory.

  • CRADLE TO GRAVE

Begins with raw materials and ends with the final disposal of the product (compost, landfill etc).

E

  • ECOTOXICITY

Emissions of substances (residues, leachate, or volatile gases) that disrupt the natural biochemistry physiology, behaviour and interactions of the living organisms that make up ecosystems. A distinction is made between different ecosystems, such as freshwater and terrestrial. [JRC European Commission]

  • ECO-PROFILE

Gives the total energy use, raw material use, air and water emissions and the total solid waste produced from the cradle to a factory gate. An eco-profile always starts with the extraction of the raw materials from the earth and ends with the production of the product of interest.

  • ENVIRONMENTALLY EXTENDED INPUT/OUTPUT ANALYSIS

Method of estimating the GHG emissions (and other environmental impacts) arising from sectors within an economy through the analysis of economic flows (source: PAS 2050).

  • EUTROPHISATION

The release of nutrients, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus, from sewage outlets and fertilised farmland causes nutrients enrichment. This results in changed species composition in nutrient-poor habitats and in algal blooms in water bodies, causing a lack of oxygen and fish death. [JRC European Commission]

F

  • FULL LCA

LCA compliant with the ISO standards ISO 14 040 & 14 044.

  • FUNCTIONAL UNIT

Quantified performance of a product system for use as a reference unit. [ISO 14067]

G

  • GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL (GWP)

Factor describing the radiative forcing impact of one mass- based unit of a given GHG relative to an equivalent unit of carbon dioxide over a given period of time [ISO 14067]

  • GREENHOUSE GAS (GhG)

Gaseous constituent of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorbs and emits radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere, and clouds.. [ISO 14067]

GHGs include among others carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). [ISO 14064-1]

H

  • HUMAN TOXICITY

Exposure to a chemical substance over a designated time period can cause adverse health effects to humans. [JRC European Commission]

I

  • INITIATIVE

Political framework or organizational structure related to a carbon footprint action.

  • IONIZING RADIATION

Impacts as a result of radioactive substances in the environment and/or other sources of radiation. [JRC European Commission]

L

  • LABELLING

On-pack or off-pack information related to product characteristics.

  • LAND USE

The use (occupation) and conversion (transformation) of land area by product-related activities such as agriculture, roads, housing, mining, etc. [JRC European Commission]

  • LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)

Compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle. [ISO 14067]

  • LIFE CYCLE INVENTORY ANALYSIS (LCI)

Phase of life cycle assessment involving the compilation and quantification of inputs and outputs for a product throughout its life cycle. [ISO 14067]

M

  • METHODOLOGY

Calculation rules and guidelines enabling to evaluate a carbon footprint.

  • MONO CRITERION

Environmental impact of the product is only considered under the carbon footprint aspect (contrary: multicriteria)

  • MULTI CRITERIA

Environmental impact of the product is evaluated through various indicators that can depend on the type of product: carbon footprint, water consumption, eco-toxicity…

O

  • OZONE DEPLETION

The release of substances, such as CFCs, HCFCs, halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform, contribute to stratospheric ozone depletion and increased ultra violet radiation to the earth’s surface. [JRC European Commission]

P

  • PHOTOCHEMICAL OZONE CREATION

Ground-level ozone, which has impacts on animal and plant life, is produced by reactions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides to light (“summer smog”). [JRC European Commission]

  • PRIMARY DATA

Quantified value originating from a direct measurement or a calculation based on direct measurements of a unit process of the product system at its original source. [ISO 14067]

  • PRODUCT

Any good and services. [ISO 14067]

  • PRODUCT CARBON FOOTPRINT

Carbon footprint of a product system. [ISO 14067]

  • PRODUCT CATEGORY RULES

Set of specific rules, requirements and guidelines for developing environmental declarations for one or more product categories. [ISO 14067]

  • PRODUCT SYSTEM

Collection of unit processes with elementary and product flows, performing one or more defined functions and which models the life cycle of a product. [ISO 14067]

R

  • RESOURCE DEPLETION

The consumption of non-renewable resources such as water and crude oil, limiting their availability for future generations and affecting the areas they are taken from. [JRC European Commission]

S

  • SECONDARY DATA

Quantified value of an activity or life cycle process obtained from sources other than the direct measurement or calculation from direct measurements. [ISO 14067]

  • SIMPLIFIED LCA

LCA not fully compliant with ISO standards, due to time and resource constrains, that is based on a higher number of hypothesis and generic data with less environment impact categories considered, and less sensitivity and uncertainty analysis performed.